Deer Proof Your Garden
If deer are eating what you set out in the garden, change
may seem unlikely, but deer do have dietary preferences. We know
that if deer are hungry enough, they will eat just about
anything. So although there are no guarantees, but by filling
your garden with distasteful plants, there is a good chance deer
will go elsewhere for their midnight snack.
The simple, attractive combination (pictured above) of
boxwood, Allium, iris, Japanese maple, and garden rue—all seldom
damaged by deer—will grow unmolested in a suburban landscape.
Here are several others you should try:
BULBS: Allium, Camassia, crocus, daffodil,
dahlia, freesia, grape hyacinth, hyacinth, scilla, snowdrop, and
ANNUALS: Begonia, cleome, dusty miller,
geranium (scented and zonal), lobelia, marigold, nasturtium,
periwinkle, snapdragon, sweet alyssum, verbena and zinnia.
Thorny, hairy, and strongly scented plants tend to be
unpalatable to deer, (sorry, they do like most roses). Here are
some recommendations of plants that deer tend to dislike.
SUN PERENNIALS: Aster, butterfly weed,
catmint, coneflower, creeping phlox, dianthus, gloriosa daisy,
goldenrod, hellebore, lamb's ears, lavender, ornamental grasses,
Pennisetum, Penstemon, poppy, Potentilla, rosemary, Russian
sage, St. John's wort, sage, salvia, thyme, veronica, and
SHADE PERENNIALS: Anemone, astilbe, bleeding
heart, columbine, ferns, Tiarella, foxglove, Ladys’ Mantle,
lily-of-the-valley, Virginia Bluebells.
SHRUBS AND TREES: Bamboo, barberry, blue
spruce, bottlebrush, boxwood, butterfly bush, Clethra,
cotoneaster, deutzia, dogwood, forsythia, Itea, Japanese
maple, juniper, lilac, magnolia, mock orange, Rose of Sharon,
red maple, rugosa rose, serviceberry, smoke tree, snowberry,
spirea, sumac, tea tree, viburnum, winterberry holly, witchazel,
VINES: Bougainvillea, jasmine, Japanese
honeysuckle, morning glory, potato vine, and wisteria.
OTHER CONTROL POSSIBILITIES: Fences work if
they are specifically designed for deer control. Low cost
electric farm animal fencing is an alternative. Repellents (like
Liquid Fence) work quite well in preventing browsing, but they
must be reapplied monthly. Dogs that live outdoors are
outstanding in keeping deer away.
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